Congratulations to Phyllis Adam, who was a runner up in our 2011 Newsletter Marketer of the Year contest.

Phyllis got great results with her newsletter and customized it to make it really appropriate for her clients.

Here is her entry.

 

Describe your business before using newsletters

 

Tell us about any issues you had about getting clients, making sales or developing your business.

Banner design for Phyllis Adam's real estate newsletter

 

I have been a Realtor since 1988 and I have never experienced a market like we have had over the past few years. Trying to find new business was becoming extremely difficult and my income was decreasing rapidly because of the economic downturn and especially with all the foreclosures and short sales pulling the market down. I was searching for new, innovative ideas to increase my productivity and taking training courses to learn how to be successful in a tough and very challenging market. Newsletters was one of the ideas I kept hearing over and over again so I began to search the internet for companies that offered preprinted Newsletters that would give me the ability to make changes and to allow me to personalize but were informative and eye-catching.

I've learned through various seminars that marketing to you're your past clients was the key to continued success. Targeting our marketing to our past clients who were satisfied with our services we provided, would be the ones most likely to refer us to their family and friends for all their real estate needs. In searching for that perfect newsletter, I came across Simon Payn's Ready to Go Newsletters. I tried the free newsletter, personalized it and printed out 200, updated my client database and organized it and sent them out.

That first month getting everything organized took a lot of work and time, but business was extremely slow so it gave me the time I needed to focus on this new campaign, taking our business in a totally different direction. My husband, who works with me as my licensed assistant, helped me put this plan into action.

We've been using the Newsletters now since September2010.

 

Describe your business after using newsletters

 

Tell us how your business changed. Did you get more clients? If so, how many? How much extra income did you make? Did they benefit your business in any other way?

Putting a competition into your client newsletter increases response rate.

Immediately after sending out the first Newsletter, I had run into a few of my past clients over the course of that first month and the positive feedback I received was very encouraging. I also received phone calls from a few of my past clients asking for real estate assistance. If nothing else, it reminded them that Phyllis & John Adam are still in real estate and we are here to provide service to them and their family and friends.

We finished up 2010 selling almost $5 Million in sales. At one time we were known to sell between $7 - $9 Million in sales but because of the downturn in the economy in 2008 and 2009, our sales substantially dropped as did our income. Our sales in 2009 were $2.5 Million, which made it very difficult to support a household. Already for 20111 we have exceeded our production from last year and feel that we are on track to end up far better than last year's production in sales.

Sending the Newsletters on a monthly basis has energized our careers and has given us a new focus each month. As soon as I meet a new potential client, whether they are a seller or a buyer, I provide them with a copy of our current Newsletter and ask if I may put them on our Newsletter mailing list. They easily provide us with their mailing address and email. I have changed our method of distributing the Newsletters monthly, which have simplified getting the Newsletters out. It has saved time and money.

I have gotten more positive feedback because I am now sending the bulk of them through email, which most people prefer.

 

Describe how you used newsletters to get these benefits

 

Tell us how you distribute your newsletters, how often, and who to. Tell us anything else we need to know about your newsletter program.

 

After downloading the Newsletter each month, I work on personalizing and adding to the current format. I change things around a bit and always try to include some interesting information about current market conditions, community involvement and instead of the sudoku game, I offer an interaction contest for all my clients to enter and get involved with.

image from Phyllis Adams customer newsletter showing local community events.

My Newsletter recipients must reply to me by email each month after receiving the current issue and asking to be entered in the monthly drawing. It's that simple. The amount of replies each month have increased substantially, which lets me know that people are reading the Newsletters and have commented that they enjoy them as well as enter the drawings each month. First I started with 10 replies, then 12, then 16. I am now up to 35 to 45 replies each month. It has become really fun and I look forward to getting the next Newsletter out just to see who will win my contest. I put all the names into a basket and my husband draws the winner. It gives me great pleasure to announce the winner and personally deliver their prize in person. We get to catch up on their lives and families and I never leave without reminding them to keep those real estate referrals coming.

As I mentioned, I started out printing anywhere from 100 - 200 Newsletters a month. I have compiled an "A" list and a "B" list, alternating my mailings. I was concerned that not everyone would be receiving the Newsletters each month and sent out a questionnaire about going paperless and starting an email distribution. More than 75% responded accepting the email idea in order to help the environment. I now have 163 names in my email mailing list and I send out about 50 to those who do not have email addresses, or have never responded. So at least I know they are getting something each month.

Once I put my finishing touches on the new monthly Newsletter, I print it out in color, scan in color to a .pdf file and then compose an email with my client list. In the subject, I put something like this: June Newsletter Brought to you by Phyllis & John Adam.

My client list consists of many of my past clients that I have worked with over the years, family members and close friends & neighbors who know we are Realtors. I continue to receive such positive feedback and see the results on a monthly basis.

Like I mentioned before, if nothing else, sending out the Newsletters regularly reminds our past clients that we are here and we do provide an excellent service to all who we work with and serve looking to buy or sell a home. Whether it for themselves or a family member, they can trust that we are truly well trained, educated professionals.

I feel that for the new business we have had this year as a direct result of our Newsletter marketing campaign, it has far out weighed the initial annual cost of the Newsletters. I will definitely sign up again. Thanks again for including such wonderful topics that are always real estate related.

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